Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”. James 2-4
On a beautiful sunny day, in a coastal West African country, Mr. Toure joyfully called out to his daughter, “Halima, my beautiful jewel come here, you have done it again!”
Halima dropped the book she was reading and quickly ran to the living room. She was all smiles and her eyes bubbled with excitement at the sound of her father’s voice.
“Yes, father, what’s the good news? Let me guess, someone is asking for my hand in marriage?” They both laughed at one of their usual Jokes.
Halima hugged her father and sat next to him while he grabbed his suitcase and retrieved a letter. Last year Halima was rejected from her dream school in the U.S and she was devastated. After taking a year off to study, she got a perfect score on her SAT and had reapplied. Her immediate family was excited, while neighbors and extended family thought Halima should settle down instead of furthering the education she and her father prized so highly.
The Cultural Norm…
Halima lived in a small town where everyone is somehow related and has a tight community, but everybody gets into each other’s business and there are no secrets. Every Saturday the youth met to clean the streets and the houses of the elderly and widows in the community. Women were expected to stay after high school and get married, while boys could go to bigger cities or abroad for education or better opportunities.
Since childhood, she always dreamed of studying in the U.S. and everyone knew it, though they never took it seriously. That’s why she was the talk of the town for the past year.
“Perhaps this was a warning for her to stay and get married instead of living abroad alone. Who is going to marry her when she comes back?”
The End of the Waiting… Victory Dance
Halima took the letter from her father and opened it. She was not only accepted, but was awarded a full scholarship including room and board. She immediately started dancing and praising God for his faithfulness. Halima’s singing was powerful enough to wake a dead man, and Her neighbors ran to the house to see what was happening.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of the story is that there is “Beauty in Perseverance.” If you persevere till the end God will see you through. No wonder James 1:2-4 said to consider it as pure joy, because nothing can get you that joy unless you go through the trial with a cheerful heart, knowing God can use anything to build your character and mold you into his desired image. No matter what you will come out of it victorious in Christ, even if it is not in the battle you expected.
Halima might have been rejected at first and I can’t imagine what she went through, yet in the end she used it to do something to improve herself, and along the way her example helped other young girls build up their courage.
No trial is easy but it is a great way of maturing our faith in God. This is what it means to be committed to God, and trust in his loving-kindness by staying true till the end. Commitment does not mean perfection. It is sticking with something while fighting through the tears…and maybe bits of complaining here and there. It is inevitable to go through trials like Halima did. Although she was disappointed and had to start all over again, she fought through, helped others, and did not give up. Her victory (perseverance) gave the girls in her town the chance to stand their ground on marriage against their wills and the courage to pursue their dreams.
Thank you for reading, my prayer is that God will give us His grace to withstand the trials we may be facing right now. Stay blessed always!